The leafy green tops of carrots are simply too pretty to be trashed or composted!
Carrot greens need to be chopped and severed into tiny little pieces. Oh wait. Wrong audience.
Carrot greens can easily find sanction in a bright green pesto. I have seen the word “pesto” be abused. I’ve seen chefs broaden the pesto family to include beets and peppers but I know our Italian friends across the pond shudder in horror. I mean just because it traveled through a food processor doesn’t make it a pesto… or does it?
Pesto should be green. The flavors in the foreground of pesto should be garlic, parmeggiano-reggiano, and extra virgin olive oil. I’ll give you some leeway on the greens and the nuts – you can choose between pine nuts, walnuts, almonds, etc., and obviously we can use up tons of Local Box greens (beet greens! cilantro!) in pursuit of pesto!
And yes, I am the ultimate authority on what pesto should and shouldn’t be, even though I have zero genetic roots in Italy.
What are your thoughts on pesto? Are you more lenient than me? :)
Parsley and Carrot Greens Pesto
3 garlic cloves
1/3 cup walnuts
1 bunch carrot greens (~3/4 cup)
1 small bunch parsley (~1/4 cup)
1/2 cup good quality extra virgin olive oil
1/8 cup grated parmeggiano-reggiano
salt and pepper to taste
1. Wash the carrot greens and parsley. (This should go without saying, but don’t use any gross brown carrot greens. This recipe is for pretty leafy fronds only!)
2. In a food processor, finely chop the garlic cloves and walnuts until all of the little pieces are stuck to the sides. Processing these before the other ingredients keeps you from getting large unwelcome chunks of garlic in your pesto. Scrape the walls of the work bowl down and process again. Scrape the walls down one more time and then add the greens.
3. Pulse several times until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
4. Then, while the machine is running, slowly stream in the olive oil through the feed tube until the mixture comes together into a puree.
4. Pulse in the Parmeggiano-Reggiano, salt, and pepper.
- over pasta (penne or spaghetti)
- around a plate of mozzarella and tomatoes
- in a dipping bowl with Italian bread
- a dollop on top of soup
- on a sandwich
- mixed in a salad dressing
- with mayonaisse (makes a delightful dipping sauce or spread for fries & burgers)